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Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift Surgery

Will I look “pulled” or “artificial” after facelift?

All facelift patients look swollen and tight immediately after surgery. This gradually improves over the first few weeks after surgery. Dr. Friedman makes every effort to provide natural-appearing results following surgery, since virtually all patients simply want to look better, not different. Most patients feel comfortable in social settings within 2 to 3 weeks of surgery.

I want to look better, but I’m not ready for a facelift. What do you recommend?

You may wish to consider non-surgical procedures to improve facial aging, such as Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, and microdermabrasion. Botox improves frown lines between the eyes, forehead creases, and crows’ feet wrinkles. Injectable fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, and Perlane) improve creases and lines around the mouth, inner cheeks, and chin. Microdermabrasion and skin care products improve skin tone and clarity.

Keep in mind, however, that none of these procedures will tighten a sagging neck or jowls. This is best accomplished by a facelift.

Which kind of facelift is best?

There is no single best facelift procedure. Procedures fall into one of three categories:

  1. Skin lift: These used to be quite popular, as they are easily done and have relatively little downtime. However, relying on skin tension to hold up the face is probably unwise. If the skin stretched out once, putting more tension on it will probably make it stretch out again.
  2. SMAS lift: Most surgeons, including Dr. Friedman, perform some form of SMAS lift. The SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) is the fibrous tissue between the subcutaneous fat and the facial muscles. The SMAS bears the tension of the facelift, thereby increasing its longevity over a skin-only lift.
  3. Deep-plane lift: This procedure also provides good results but is less popular due to increased swelling, recovery time, and risk of injury to the nerves that control facial movement.
Does Dr. Friedman do “mini-facelifts”?

Mini-facelift is a great marketing term, but facelifts should be classified based upon the plane of elevation (see previous question) and the length of the scars. Dr. Friedman performs a SMAS lift, generally using a “short-scar” technique. Unlike traditional facelifts, short-scar lifts do not require incisions along the scalp behind the ears. Calling this a mini-lift would be misleading, as the results and recovery time are similar to a traditional lift. Caution: some mini-lifts provide results that last only long enough to allow your check to clear.

How long will a facelift last?

Most patients look about 7 to 10 years younger after facelift. You will continue to age at a normal rate following surgery, though you may never “catch up” to your chronological age.

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© 2018 Ronald M. Friedman, M.D., P.A.

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